Ethical Issues in Psychological Assessment of Workers Area
Performing psychological assessment sometimes present with ethical issues and dilemmas which makes the work of the psychologist tough; an example of the ethical issue is the violation of the workers' confidentiality right (Wellin, 2016). A computerised method of assessing the psychological condition of the workforce increases the likelihood of breaching the ethical principle of confidentiality. For instance, recording the test findings on computers without encryption may jeopardise the confidentiality of the gathered information from the employees because even the unauthorised people can easily access it. The confidential information of the workforce saved either as hardcopy or soft copy in computers has high chances of access by the other employees within the company where assessment is conducted. Also, the infringement may occur because even the computer technicians may access the employees' information (Tarique & Schuler, 2010). Therefore, the profession requires strict adherence and discipline to handle all information with confidentiality.
The other ethical issue that arises for industrial psychology specialists when working in the area of psychological assessment concerns scoring errors. Wellin (2016) stated that the use of the computer makes it easy to manipulate data and this causes scoring errors. The changing of test constructs to fit the needs of the employer with less consideration of the personnel's welfare has also been raised as a major concern (Scott & Poteet, 2017). For example, the employer can request the psychologist to use the computer to manipulate the data as a way of protecting the company's reputation. The psychologists may be pinned between the decisions to either conform to the testing requirements and scores or favour the company. Moreover, computerised results can lack equivalence with manual testing leading to issues of invalidity of results. Factors like computer aversion can as well inflate scores because of computerised psychological assessment of workers (Spector & Pindek, 2016). For instance, responders who are not comfortable with computers can affect result equivalence during psychological analysis of workers. Therefore, there is lack of construct equivalence as a result of the use of computers when performing the psychological assessment.
The other ethical issue that arises for occupational psychologists is incompetence. Psychologists may lack knowledge or experience to administer and interpret psychological assessment tools, techniques or measures (Tarique & Schuler, 2010). The issue of incompetence may arise for occupational psychologists because of inadequate familiarity with the psychometric strengths, weaknesses or the intended research support of the analysis procedures. Incompetence automatically leads to inaccurate collection and interpretation of data. Sometimes they may rely on the computer-generated results instead of using the actual findings because they cannot produce correct results (Wellin, 2016). It is unethical to provide incorrect data to employers; however, the psychologist may be forced to comply with the employers' requests because they want to make a living out of the profession.
The Issue of the Changing Context of using One Test at Workplace
People have changed their attitudes towards psychological testing and tests at the global level and it is considered as an important practice in the workplace settings. Beehr (2014) argued that the psychological tests are complex and the tester must have adequate skills and expertise to examine the workers' mental health. For example, available psychological tests indicate complex constructs like skills, knowledge as well as psychological attributes which require complex assessment techniques (Bergman & Jean, 2016). Moreover, current psychological assessment of the workforce involves the application of a wide range of measurable areas. Some of the psychological constructs may be left out due to the increasing demands in the current testing context (Jex & Britt, 2014). As a result, occupational psychologists ought to be able to handle the dynamism experienced at the place of work for quality to deliver quality services.
Specific policies and guidelines have been developed to govern the test instruments such as Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory among others today. According to Beehr (2014), psychometric measuring instruments are classified differently; therefore, the psychologist must cope with the long procedures and ensure that testing devices have all the required psychometric properties before performing any analysis. Furthermore, bias, invalidity or unreliability may emerge during psychological testing due to the use of devices that do not meet the set psychological standards in the present context of testing in the UK (Bergman & Jean, 2016). In instances where there are no classified psychometric measuring instruments, the psychologist is likely to offer biased results about the psychological condition of employers.
The changes in the test and techniques used in psychological assessments at the place of work is also a challenge; the psychologists must be equipped with skills and information on how to apply different testing equipment such as Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory appropriately. Bhave & Glomb (2016) stated that inadequate information on how to apply some of the psychological testing instruments is a common issue probable to occur during the psychological assessment of personnel. Practitioners without knowledge of how to scientifically prove the testing device used in different contexts of the place of work will find it challenging to deliver quality services. Additionally, inequitable use of instruments may arise because the occupational psychologists have little understanding of how to apply different psychometric measuring instruments (Bergman & Jean, 2016). For example, an organisational psychological expert lacking cautiousness or information may not test all psychological aspects of workers due to insufficient information on how to use some testing instruments or procedures (Beehr, 2014). Therefore, insufficient information in the use of testing devices as per the current context of the test is an issue that can arise in the area of psychological assessment.
Inadequate skills and knowledge by occupational psychologists lead to low-quality services to clients when offering the psychological analysis of personnel techniques. According to Gusso, Fink, King, Tonidandel, & Landis (2015), some occupational psychologists are not in a position to deliver quality services to companies requiring psychological assessment of human resource. Moreover, skills and knowledge that occupational psychologist have do not directly relate to the current work environment (Harrington & Lee, 2015). As a result, they are not in a position to deliver quality psychological assessment services when advising on human resource strategies because of inadequate knowledge and skills (Jones, Burke, & Westman, 2013). Delivery of quality services becomes a challenge which leads to low-quality psychological analysis of human resource needs of employees
The Challenge of Socio-Cultural Differences
The variations in the social-cultural issues usually arise for occupational psychology experts who work particularly in the psychological assessment area at the workplace with diversified employees. According to Lyons and Kuron (2014), the cultural differences affect the effectiveness of the process since the two parties may have cultural encounters due to value differentiation. Occupational psychologists who lack information on the correct applicability of different testing devices and procedures across cultures may encounter socio-cultural conflicts. Though instruments developed to measure employees' potential and sensitivities exist, it is difficult for an occupational psychologist to suit devices in a diverse socio-cultural setting. There is also inadequate information about psychological assessment classification in different socio-cultural contexts within the United Kingdom. As a result, the issue of socio-cultural conflicts is inevitable when assessing psychology of workers at the place of work.
Apart from conflicts due to inappropriate application of test devices as per the values of socio-cultural contexts, the language barrier may also present as a challenge. Lyons & Kuron (2014) stated that language barrier hinders the smooth delivery of psychological tests. For example, the employer or the psychologist may not be proficient with the language used in the construction of the test. Misunderstandings and misconceptions may emerge because of constructing the test in a foreign or second language. Since language is important in the assessment of a workers' psychological analysis, the issue of communication ineffectiveness may hinder the success of the assessment process in cases where foreign or second language are used in test constructs (Youssef & Luthans, 2010). Anything that affects the conception and understanding of test construct affects the outcome. For instance, personality test in psychological assessment requires a higher level language proficiency of both the practitioner and the employees. Furthermore, the direct relationship between culture and language can leads to incorrect results when language proficiency is low. In some cases, there is the use of different construct to workers as per their language, a situation that causes non-uniformity in the testing process (Beehr, 2014).
Bias is as well another socio-cultural issue that arises in the course of duty delivery by the occupational psychologists. As per Lyons & Kuron (2014), industrial psychologists sometimes fail to use a similar construct to measure employees as per their socio-cultural setting. Measuring of a construct to people from different cultural backgrounds is challenging to occupational psychology experts in the process of assessing psychology of workers. The socio-cultural diversity of personnel may result in biases during analysis of results. Also, equity in consideration of bias across cultures is an issue that arises when organisational psychology specialists assess human resource psychological condition in companies (Youssef & Luthans, 2010). Improper or inaccurate language translation may also cause the problem of bias in this context. The process of translating one language...
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